In the words of William Morris, ‘’have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’’ And while that’s certainly a maxim worth remembering, when minimalism is a necessity due to lack of floor space, well, it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
Indeed, eeking out real estate around the home can be tough when you live in a small apartment. But ‘small’ doesn’t necessarily have to mean compact or cramped. Yep, the good news is that there are interior design approved tricks out there to maximise the space you do have, both visually and physically. All it takes is a little know-how and a lot of creativity. With that in mind, here’s how to create more space in a small apartment in 7 simple steps.
DOUBLE DUTY FURNITURE
There are some really clever ways you can create space in your apartment involving practical but stylish furniture which boasts hidden storage potential.
Elle Decor points out that this ‘double-duty furniture’ not only looks stylish but gives you great storage options, and we couldn’t agree more with them. Indeed, furniture retailers are catching on, realising that there is a demand for maximising space in properties and are tailoring their offering to suit this – for example, VidaXL offer a range of storage benches that would be a good fit for small apartments and modest budgets. Or, a simple footstool or poof which allows for storage does a great job of fusing the functional with a foolproof storage option.
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
Collapsible furniture is a fantastic resource that lets you enjoy all the functionality you need from a chair, table, desk or set of drawers, but only when you want it. When the item isn’t in use, you can seriously mitigate the space it takes up by reducing its size until its next outing is required.
Folding dining tables can be pulled away from the wall, used, then simply folded flat and returned to a corner again, whereas collapsible chairs can be folded and slotted under the bed or in a utility cupboard in between uses. It’s this flexibility which is so essential in small spaces, so do endeavour to seek collapsible or folding options as opposed to rigidly standing furniture.
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Not just a great life tip, this applies to small apartments, too. What we mean is that you should prioritise finding storage solutions for the really bulky items as a matter of urgency, rather than worrying about a couple of rogue leads or shampoo bottles.
Because it’s the heavyweight kit which takes up so much room. If you’re a cyclist, for example, the amount of floor space a bicycle takes up is ridiculous, especially when squeezing past the handlebars is taken into account; a recipe for disaster and damage, no doubt. Clever storage solutions for those big, bulky items is vital, so in the case of your trusty commuter-friendly wheels, get it up on a hook, on the wall. As for your cycling kit, just stuff it all in a bag and on the back of the bathroom door. Done!
STASH IN THE BATHROOM
If your bathroom barely manages to play host to the basics, like toiletries and loo roll, without overflow (hmm, perhaps the wrong term there) it’s time to put the minimal space here to better use. Pull-out storage baskets, wall hooks, over-door hangers and shower caddies are all brilliant ways to get more bang for your bathroom-storage buck.
With more storage and hanging options in place, plenty more items can take up permanent residency in the bathroom, thus freeing up space in your bedroom, which let’s be honest, is more of a priority. Just be sure that you exercise a little caution, as there are certain things that shouldn’t be stored in a humid bathroom.
If you own a small apartment, you can decide to be more adventurous with permanent fixture adjustments which add space. Taking a few doors off can be a fun way to start, to get a more open-plan vibe working for you, but what about building shelving into all those empty wall niches, too? They might make good wall art display areas, but we’re focusing on space saving here, so populate that wall niche with as many shelves as you can fit, potentially doubling your storage. Floating shelves work best, as they leave a neater finish and look more contemporary.
GET CRAFTY IN THE KITCHEN
If you haven’t noticed how much space is wasted in your kitchen cupboards already, you will now we’ve mentioned it. Sorry about that. Indeed, the backs of your cabinet doors can often lay dormant but for a solitary tin of tuna, but really, this area represents prime real estate for integrated bins, shopping bag storage and even spice racks. By clearing the bulky clutter out of the actual cupboards, you’ll be able to keep your surfaces clearer and free up floor space too. Without a freestanding bin, for instance, you’ve created a whole extra corner which you can move around in more effortlessly. And that’s why you’re here right?
You can also put your wall space to better use, by adding a pegboard with hooks that can easily house pans and Tupperware lids, both of which seem to eat up so much cupboard space. Yep, there are so many kitchen storage solutions out there, if only you look.
NOT JUST A SHOE RACK
We’ve all seen those door-mounted shoe holders with plastic pockets for your favourite footwear, but are you seeing the potential for more? We certainly are. A perfect solution for organising everything from cleaning products to first-aid supplies, medications and even toiletries, they can be hung inside a cupboard door, out of sight but still always within easy reach, and far better than being splayed out on the floor ready to be tripped over.
That’s not to say they don’t work well for shoes. Discarding bulky shoeboxes that need to be stacked and tessellated perfectly will free up an enormous amount of shelf or under-bed space that can be used for other storage needs. Sure, it’s a game of Tetris at every turn, but it’s worth it for the extra room and peace of mind you’ll create.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Small apartments don’t need to feel claustrophobic, as long as you decorate and innovate with space-saving initiatives in mind. By freeing up floor and cupboard space using simple tricks and hacks, you’ll lift the burden of clutter from your apartment, making it more peaceful, and most importantly, spacious place to spend time.